Asus makes a point at CeBIT 2008
Asus keep us our attention busy these days with several announcements from the CeBIT IT show in Hannover. The high-end devices are Asus P560, Asus P320 also known as Galaxi Mini, Asus M536 and ASUS Lamborghini ZX1 running on 3D-like customized Windows Mobile 6.1 UI.
Asus P560 is a quad-band GSM/GPRS PocketPC which also supports UMTS/HSDPA connectivity. The device runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 OS and has 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen display. Though its processor is still unknown, the 128 MB of RAM and 256 MB ROM are among the listed details.
P560 is a communication expert with its Bluetooth 2.0, WI-FI 802.11b/g and built-in GPS. The multimedia features include a 3 megapixel camera and a secondary VGA one for video calling.
The second offering is the quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE Asus P320 Galaxi Mini, running on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS. It's powered by the somewhat underpowered 200 MHz TI OMAP 850 processor and has 128 MB of ROM and 64 MB RAM. Those specs however are understandable as the Asus P320 Galaxi Mini is among the smallest PocketPC phones. It's smaller than the HTC Touch and the LG KS20 beats it only by one millimeter in thickness.
The display is again a 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen. The built-in GPS takes advantage of the SiRFstar III chipset and definitely makes it the smallest Pocket PC phone with GPS . Other goodies include Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0 and microSD card support. There is no Wi-Fi support however - that alone is enough to make us sad.
Asus Lamborghini ZX1
The Asus Lamborghini ZX1 has an intriguing design inspired by the Lamborghini cars. It is a feature-packed hi-end device with worldwide coverage running on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS. It is a quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE phone with support of tri-band UMTS/HSDPA (3.6 Mbps) connectivity.
ZX1 is geared by TI 2431 450 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM and 256 MB ROM, expandable via microSD cards. The 2.8-inch QVGA phone has all the latest wireless connectivity including Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, USB 2.0 as well as a GPS receiver.
The other spec include a 3 mega pixel AF camera and a secondary videocall VGA camera. Housing a bunch of stuff like this usually takes a lot of space, but the medium sized ZM1 surely looks good.
The Asus Lamborghini ZX1 will surely silence your excitement with its price of around EUR 1000. The device is expected to hit the European market in May 2008.
The next Asus seen these days is the hi-end Asus M536 PocketPC with a hardware QWERTY keyboard. It also runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 OS, but except the stated 256 MB flash memory, there is no other information about its processor and ROM memory.
The tri-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE M536 also supports tri-band UMTS/HSDPA (3.6 Mbps) connectivity. Its display is a tad smaller than the previous devices with its 2.4-inch square 320x320 pixels display. Other nice features in M536 are Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, a built-in GPS receiver and a fingerprint scanner.
Asus new Touch UI
A special attention deserves the 3D-like Asus Windows Mobile 6.1 UI. This hi-tech UI will be first seen implemented in the Asus Lamborghini ZX1 phone. The new user interface has a snappy performance with rich 3D effects and features reminding the Apple iPhone (read CoverFlow). Other interesting similarity is the TouchFLO-like cube UI, all of which can be seen in this video of the new Asus 3D interface demo.
This new user interface is surely a positive change for Windows Mobile and we like the route that all PocketPC manufacturers are taking by customizing the boring stylus-oriented graphical interface of the Microsoft OS. That would not only make the devices more thumbable and user-friendly but would also increase the manufacturers brand awareness among the users.